Michael Douglas' father Kirk Douglas is inspiring him in the ''third act'' of his life.

The 68-year-old actor accepts he is nearer the end of his journey in the world than the beginning and his throat cancer diagnosis in 2010 made him appreciate life more than ever.

Michael insists his 96-year-old screen icon dad Kirk - who famously appeared in films such as 'Spartacus', 'Gunfight at the O.K. Corral' and 'Champion' - has set an example in his later years that he wants to follow.

When asked how his illness had affected his life, he said: ''It gives you much more of a sense of counting the years. I'm coming into, I would definitely say, my third act. I have my father, who I admire so much in how he's conducted his life and his third act. It makes you much more conscious of the days and years.''

Michael won his cancer battle and has often praised the support and love of his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, and their two children, Carys, 10, and Dylan, 12, for helping him pull through.

The 'Behind the Candelabra' star - who also has a 34-year-old son Cameron, who is serving a jail sentence for drug offences, with his first wife Diandra Luker - intends to cherish every moment with his family after his health scare.

In an interview with ShortList magazine, he added: ''I just didn't think about it (the future). But having a new family - I've got children who are 12 and 10, which I never anticipated - your priorities change. I certainly cherish the time with them and appreciate a good marriage.''